Pirated VCDs of the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone are on sale in Hong Kong almost five weeks before the blockbuster reaches local cinemas. Customs officers seized 200 VCD copies of the film at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan and a hawker stall in Shamshuipo on Sunday. Superintendent Fong Fai-hung said the pirated films sold for $20, similar to the price of pirated copies of other movies. He said investigators were still tracing the source of the copies, the first found in Hong Kong. The movie opens in Hong Kong on December 20. Mr Fong said Customs officers would step up anti-piracy raids during the Christmas holidays. The Hong Kong office of Warner Bros, the copyright owner, said yesterday it would report the piracy cases to its head office in the US. The Motion Picture Association's assistant director of anti-piracy operations, Sam Ho Wai-hung, said pirated copies had been found in Asia just days after the film's opening in the United States, Britain and Canada on November 16. The first batch was found in Malaysia on November 19, in Shenzhen and Beijing the following day and in Taiwan on Friday. The film was released in Taiwan on November 17 and Malaysia on Thursday. 'The copies were believed to have been made from illegal recordings of the film in cinemas. But it's unclear exactly where they were made,' Mr Ho said. He said that while piracy problems in Hong Kong had lessened over the past few years, more pirated VCDs were available during holidays and when blockbusters were screened. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone raked in a record US$114 million (HK$889 million) during its opening weekend in the US and Britain. The film, about a teenage wizard, is based on the best-selling book by J. K. Rowling.